Birmingham is an economic powerhouse that is poised for even bigger growth. The city offers investors – whether in property, finance, or businesses – huge potential. And it’s all thanks to a far-sighted blueprint drawn up in 2011.
Today, the city is the major convention and shopping destination outside of London, and is quickly gaining the reputation as a financial hub. However, far from resting on their laurels, the city’s officials drew up an ambitious blueprint in 2011 for Birmingham’s development. Plans in this blueprint will be rolled out gradually over the next 20 years, and can be summed up by three focal points: connectivity, growth, and liveability.
There will be no city without people, and even the grandest of schemes can fail without the requisite interest from investors, residents, and travellers. To keep the crowds coming, Birmingham’s city planners have envisioned more connections to the major highways that surround the city, extensive rail linkages, and a more comprehensive web of pedestrian connections that will bring human traffic to the city’s busiest nodes.
The most exciting transport development is the proposed High Speed 2 (HS2), a new high-speed rail network that will link Birmingham with Manchester, Leeds and London.
When completed in 2026, the HS2 will stop in Birmingham in the future redeveloped Curzon Street terminal – one of the oldest railway terminal in the world. In turn, the terminal itself will also be rejuvenated and host an exhibition centre and shopping centre.
Within Birmingham, emphasis will be placed on developing public transport, with extensions to existing metro lines as well as the building of more Rapid Transit Routes linking the city’s core to the city’s fringes.
The regeneration of the city centre will see it grow by 25% to cover an area of 800 hectares. Its current resident population of 30,000 will reflect this growth and is expected to more than double over the next 20 years. Over 50,000 new jobs will be created to support this new population, and they are expected to contribute 2.1 billion pounds to the economy per year.
To cope with this rapid growth, the improved Colmore Row Central Business District will see more Grade A office spaces being created. The business district will also see a southern extension being built, which will link it to the area around Martineau Galleries, the future High Speed 2 railway station, and Eastside.
Rapid growth within the city’s core can only be sustained if the city centre remains bustling and vibrant at night. Concerted efforts have to be made for Birmingham to avoid the “dead town” phenomenon that plague so many major cities once night falls and offices empty of their occupants.
One often-sought solution undertaken by many cities is to attract a resident population into the city centre. Birmingham has recently seen a growth of apartments around its city core, indicating a rise in city centre resident population. However, more can definitely be done. The real challenge lies not in attracting single professionals to live in the city’s core, but families, both young and old, to move in, too.
Diverse housing options to cater to various family types and sizes are a must, and access to schools, parks, and shops integral.
This recent interest in Birmingham, bolstered by the clear development plans that have already been put into motion, can only mean that the city will continue to prosper and grow.
A projected 26,000 households are expected to be added to the metropolis as the many investments attract new businesses, residents, and opportunity seekers.
New homes will be needed, but with only 9,554 units currently in construction, a future shortage of housing is almost inevitable, and it is also for this reason that Birmingham is fast becoming a hotspot for property investments.
Understand the Latest trends in Birmingham Property Market from the experts on the 4 – 5 November 2017 at Four Seasons Hotel, 11 am to 7 pm.
Article contributed by Top Capital Group